By Ogbolu George
International affairs experts, Prof Adeolu Durotoye and Dr Ajinde Oluwasakin, have attributed the constant attacks on Nigerians in South Africa to the federal government’s failure to review the country’s foreign policy in the last 30 years.
The experts declared that the ongoing review of the country’s foreign policy by President Buhari’s government will rectify the racial attacks and correct the injustices being experienced by Nigerians living abroad.
They made this known during a programme on Wednesday tagged : ‘Hard Talk on Africa and the Tragedy of Xenophobia’ organised by the Department of International Relations and Diplomacy, Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti.
Weak foreign policy
Durotoye, the Provost of the College of Social and Management Sciences, said Nigerian government’s failure to put a stop to the situation was caused by the country’s weak foreign policy.
”Nigeria was a frontline state in anti apartheid struggle, and was also at the forefront of the suspension of Apartheid South Africa from commonwealth and led the UN anti-apartheid committee on several occasions. Many liberation activists like Thambo Mbeki, were offered asylum in Nigeria.
”When Nelson Mandela was released from prison, Nigeria was the first country that hosted him. The above trajectory showed how much Nigeria took up the cross of fighting apartheid to a point of extinction even at the expense of her economic interest,” he said.
Oluwasakin, the Head of Department of International Relations and Diplomacy in ABUAD, on his part, said that late appointments of ambassadors by President Buhari must have had negative effect on the country’s economic and commercial relations with other nations.
”South Africa must ensure that they teach their citizens about the roles played by Nigeria in the liberation struggle, I believe this will minimize the hatred.
But I won’t support the idea that the assailants should be listed as terrorist group . They are legitimate citizens who were only displaying ignorance,” he said.